The terrorist organization Hamas, which plays a sizable role in the “unity government” of the Palestinians, has been striving to frame the wave of knife attacks against Israeli citizens as an “intifada,” or uprising, and position itself as leader of the insurgency.
Toward this end, the chief of Hamas’ political wing, Khaled Mashaal, called for a “shared vision” and “national strategy” behind future attacks. His words are clearly meant to incite more widespread violence.
“The Palestinians must decide on a shared vision for this intifada,” said Mashaal, as reported by the Times of Israel.
He called for Palestinians to “formulate a national strategy,” because “there must be coordination between resistance operations on the ground and political processes.”
Mashaal took a swing at Hamas’ partners and rivals in the Palestinian Authority, saying they had not done enough against Israel’s “settlments policy and settlers’ war crimes.” He also had a list of political demands to “solve” the “crises in the Gaza Strip,” including ending Israel’s weapons blockade, and providing Gaza with a seaport and airport. He said he was unwilling to participate in international conferences to arrange a long-term cease-fire with Israel until these demands were met.
Mashaal made it clear he finds terrorist violence both an acceptable and effective political tool. “In the last intifada, we freed Gaza,” he claimed, according to Israel National News. “If we invest all of our efforts in this intifada, we will be able to free Jerusalem and the West Bank.”
Israel National News also reports Mashaal is demanding the release of two Palestinian terrorists in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who were killed by Hamas terrorists during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Khaled Mashaal also described the Palestinian knife attacks as a knife “intifada” during his recent visit to South Africa, where he described Israel as an “apartheid regime” and signed a “letter of intent” with the African National Congress.